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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 11-13-2004, 09:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

I was feeling rather studley today as I successfully changed my own spark plugs with hardly a hitch. I say hardly because I DID have to take a side trip out this morning first to get some copper-based anti-seize for the new plugs' threads (as specified by Bentley).

My problem is that the rear two plugs on each side were oily, especially the rearmost (presumably due to angle and gravity). SO, I guess my valve cover gaskets are leaky and need replacing. I took a couple of photos (attached).


The help I am seeking is:
1) take a look at my photos and tell me how "bad" the problem is (I'm at 104,400 miles) - is it critical to not drive one mile further or can it wait a couple of weeks?
2) How tough a job is changing vc gaskets, really? Anyone here do it on a M62TU?
3) Is there any "trick" like adding any sealant anywhere, or do you pretty much plop the new rubber gasket in place and go? Tips for cleaning the old gasket surface? Is OEM the best gasket or is there an improved aftermarket gasket out there?

Thanks for the help, if you can provide! Right now, my plan is to do this job myself in a couple of weeks (my next chance), IF the car will wait, and IF I can really do it.
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How Tough Is A Vc Gasket Change In A 540?-dsc00821.jpg   How Tough Is A Vc Gasket Change In A 540?-dsc00825.jpg   How Tough Is A Vc Gasket Change In A 540?-dsc00828.jpg   How Tough Is A Vc Gasket Change In A 540?-dsc00822.jpg  
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Old 11-14-2004, 04:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Eric S
Looks bad for almost 2" of oil on the socket. When I changed my engine I decided to give it a new gasket before installation; so it was much easier to do from the outside. I just applied a thin coat of engine oil to the VC gasket while making sure both surfaces: the cover and the head are super clean and free from the old gasket. Other than that it is a matter of A. time B. Getting the proper torque for these little bolts on the cover.
Good luck and let us know how you make out.

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Old 11-14-2004, 08:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Nov 14 2004, 06:03 PM
Eric S
Looks bad for almost 2" of oil on the socket. When I changed my engine I decided to give it a new gasket before installation; so it was much easier to do from the outside. I just applied a thin coat of engine oil to the VC gasket while making sure both surfaces: the cover and the head are super clean and free from the old gasket. Other than that it is a matter of A. time B. Getting the proper torque for these little bolts on the cover.
Good luck and let us know how you make out.

regards
billb
[snapback]230838[/snapback]
Thanks Bill -
I think I've decided to do the job myself when I can get to it next (weekend after US thanksgiving, Nov 28th or so). The manual revealed no new surprises, but it DID specify I certain kind of uckumpucky called "Three Bond 1209" (or equivalent) at corners of half-moon cutouts, which lines up perfectly with standard Honda practice as well (I just need to find some of this sealant, probably at the dealer, since they change VC gaskets too). BTW, I've found the gasket shouldn't cost me much more than about $50 for the set, L & R.

The car has lasted 104K miles thus far, and 2 more weeks won't kill it, though I will endeavor to minimize the miles driven.

To me the clincher is the fact the gasket is rubber; I'll spare you the agony of my days dealing with cork gaskets, and scraping ad nauseum. Actually, the way the E39 is designed for service is like it's designed for the driver - well thought-out. Really, I found spark plug changing to be very simple, and I loved the plastic pop-off bolt covers & the clever little sliding locks on the coil harness connectors. E-Z.

If I'd have known, I would have changed the vc gasket with the plugs of course. Next time, I'll know to pop the WAY cool little bolt covers and oull off the coil covers first and assess the leaking oil situation before embarking upon "just" a spark plug change!
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1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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Old 11-14-2004, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Eric

If I remember correctly I paid just about $50 for the VC and yes you don't have to deal with old style gaskets ; BMWs are balck in color and feels like steel embedded in the core of the gasket. The trick is in near perfect alignment..all in all wishing the best of luck on the job.
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